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Vacuum & Modified Atmosphere Packaging for Dairy Products

Temperature management and atmosphere modification are two major factors in extending the shelf life of foods. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) of fresh produce relies on modification of the gas composition inside the package, based on the interactions between two processes, the respiration of product and the transfer of gases through the packaging, thereby resulting in gas composition richer in CO2 and poorer in O2. In contrast to controlled atmosphere (CA) systems, modified atmosphere (MA) technology has higher flexibility

In prolonging the CA benefits for improving shelf life of a larger number of fresh produce during distribution and storage. MA conditions can be effected via packaging a passive system, by balancing produce respiration and gas exchange through package materials. Such systems, called MAP, can be visualized as bulk packaging containers, as unit retail packages, and as individual produce coatings.

The main gases employed in MAP are oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide used in different combinations and proportions depending on (a) the product, (b) the anticipated product shelf life, and (c) the needs of the processor and the consumer. The final choice is greatly influenced by the microbiological flora growing on the product, the sensitivity of the product to oxygen and carbon dioxide, and its color stability requirements. Retail MAP of freshly prepared produce could be successfully accomplished by using a packaging film of proper permeability so as to establish optimal EMAs of typically 3%–10% O2 and 3%–10% CO2.

Milk is the source of a wide range of proteins required for nutrition purposes for the most promising new food products nowadays. Isolated milk proteins are natural, trusted food ingredients with excellent functionality. Milk fat is an excellent dietary source of retinol, TH, and β-carotene, which display their antioxidant activity in biological tissues as well as in foods. β-Carotene and retinol scavenge both singlet oxygen and lipoperoxides, thereby considerably limiting the oxidation of fatty acid. The importance of goat milk and its products, such as yogurt, cheese, and powder, in human nutrition can be classified along the following three axes: (1) feeding more starving and malnourished people in the developing world than from cow milk; (2) treating people affected with cow milk allergies and gastrointestinal disorders; and (3) fulfilling the gastronomic needs of connoisseur consumers, an expanding market share in many developed countries.

Many factors can and do affect the shelf life of dairy products. Some of these factors are (1) raw milk quality, (2) high temperature short term (HTST) pasteurizer operation, (3) cleanliness and sanitation of pasteurization lines, (4) extent of sanitation of pasteurized milk storage tanks, (5) sanitation and “protective” design of filling machines, (6) the state of cleanliness of the overall plant environment, and (7) adequate temperature control. Therefore, killing psychrotrophic bacteria that can contaminate milk in conjunction with temperature (high or low) can become a crucial factor. Milk and dairy products are highly nutritious media, in which microorganisms can grow and cause spoilage.

Apart from traditional glass bottles and coated paperboard cartons, all-plastic containers have been used for pasteurized milk packaging. Problems with all-plastic containers used in the studies cited here include light transmission and oxygen permeability. It should be noted, however, that oxidative reactions (auto-oxidation) have been reported to take place in milk packaged even in coated paperboard cartons, which were found to be more or less impermeable to oxygen. More recently, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and coextruded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles have been used for fresh milk packaging (Karatapanis et al., 2006). PET is a versatile plastic material normally used in the bottling of soft beverages, and it has been introduced as a packaging material for fluid milk. PET offers several advantages as a food-packaging material, including transparency, light weight, resistance, and recyclability. Moreover, pigmented PET enhances its versatility by protecting the food from light, which, in turn, helps to protect food flavor against light-induced

lipid oxidation. One potentially negative attribute of PET packaging, however, is that its oxygen permeability may be a factor in the development of oxidized offflavors in UP milk over time.

It is well known that packaging materials such as polyethylene (PE) and polystyrene (PS) are gas permeable and allow the diffusion of oxygen into yogurt during storage. PS, as a package material, is used in the manufacture of plastic cups for dairy products, such as ice cream or yogurt cups.

Cehuma is offering CM Series which is automatic vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging machines for Cameros cheese, White cheese, paneer, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, Crottin de Chavignol cheese, Giuncata cheese, Fior di latte cheese, Grater graviera (hard cheese), Kashkaval, Mozzarella cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Primosale cheese, Provo-lone cheese, Ricotta, Semihard cheese, Sliced Havarti cheese, Whey cheese, Stratiatella cheese… with its best quality, high speed and utmost food safety.

Cehuma is also offering its YZ Series for form fill and sealing of cream cheese, milk, butter, processed cheese, mild cream cheese… again with its best quality, high speed and utmost food safety.

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